Enter the Memphis Farmers Market on an early Saturday morning, and the suspended wooden “handmade pasta” sign will inevitably catch your eye.
Soon after, Miles Tamboli’s demeanor and eloquent descriptions will swoon you into purchasing spaghetti, basil and tomato—cueing an impromptu pasta night you hadn’t planned, but now couldn’t imagine your weekend without.
Before I plucked a dozen eggs and duo of spaghetti for the ultimate carbonara (see recipe), I sat with Miles to grasp the motive for his latest venture in the local food and farming arena.
2 containers Tamboli Produce Co. spaghetti
6 Tamboli Produce Co. eggs (2 whole eggs, 4 egg yolks)
3 tablespoons kosher salt
4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), sliced into 1/4-inch cubes
2 ounces pecorino, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1.Heat 6 quarts of water over high heat. Once steaming, add salt and bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs until no streaks remain. Add 1 ½ ounces pecorino (reserving the rest) and black pepper. Whisk until fully combined.
3. In a large Dutch oven pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, around 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Using a wooden spoon, remove pancetta and transfer to a small bowl. Pour all fat into a heatproof measuring cup. Add back in about 3 tablespoons to the Dutch oven, and discard remaining fat.
5. Cook pasta in boiling water, about 2 minutes. Scoop out 1 ¾ cups pasta water with the heatproof measuring cup. Drain spaghetti in colander.
6. Add 1 cup pasta water to Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Transfer spaghetti to Dutch oven and, using tongs, constantly stir until water reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
7. Whisk ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water into the egg mixture. Then, slowly pour into the Dutch oven while stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and egg is thickened. Thin the sauce with remaining ½ cup pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce reaches consistency of a heavy cream.
8. Stir in pancetta and divide pasta among bowls. Top with pepper and reserved pecorino.